UAE needs 14,000 teachers over next five years – expert

The Gulf region faces teacher shortages as demand outstrips supply



Thousands of teachers from overseas are needed to fill posts in schools across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, a recruitment expert had claimed.

Demand for teachers to work in international schools in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar is greatly outstripping supply, Worldteachers chief executive Roddy Hammond has said.

In the UAE alone at least another 14,000 teachers need to be recruited over the next five years.

According to Hammond, the demand for international teachers is among the top three challenges facing schools in the Gulf region.

He said: “Dubai is the best known that most expats identify as a very exciting and safe place to live and visit. Abu Dhabi is not quite as high in expats’ minds but those who have done research conclude that there is not a huge difference.

“Qatar is gaining more interest, particularly through its association with the World Cup. Saudi Arabia is popular with some expats, for example, if they are Muslim, they have a closer association due to their religious ties.”

He added: “It is recognised that teachers are likely to save much more money in Saudi Arabia due to higher than average salaries and less things to spend your money on.”

The UAE’s 526 international schools currently employ more than 39,000 full-time teachers. Nearly half of them are from the United Kingdom, while 13 per cent come from North America and less than one per cent are local.

Elsewhere UK expats account for nearly 50 per cent of all full time teaching staff in Qatar and a quarter of international school teachers in Saudi Arabia, data from ISC Research has found.

The research also predicted that there will be a need for 503,000 full time teachers in international schools across the globe.

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